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No Viacom On YouTube? No Problem

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Clips from programs like South Park and The Daily Show vanished from YouTube when Viacom demanded their removal. You wouldn’t know anything has changed based on YouTube’s rising traffic.

If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine"
-- Google-Wan Kenobi warns Darth Viacom that there is nothing more powerful than the Force of YouTube users.

Viacom decided that YouTube would be a better place if they lost some content. Namely some 100,000 video clips of Viacom content, which they insisted on not seeing on YouTube on February 2nd.

Viacom subsequently popped up with a licensing deal with newcomer Joost, a video sharing site run by the guys who started Skype (and the more notorious Kazaa). Joost’s model offers the kind of lockdown that big media companies like Viacom think is essential to their futures.

YouTube didn’t step in front of an oncoming truck on the information superhighway. Rather than seeing a dropoff in visitors, the opposite has happened. Hitwise analyst LeeAnn Prescott tracked YouTube’s traffic since Viacom’s top man Sumner Redstone put the bedroom slipper down hard on them.

It seems YouTube is thriving without Stephen Colbert and company:

The market share of US visits to YouTube increased by 13.9% in the two week period between the weeks ending 2/3/07 and 2/17/07, and its average weekly traffic increase since the start of the year was 7%. As of 2/20/07, YouTube ranked as the 12th most visited Internet domain in the US. The sites that received more traffic than YouTube were MySpace domains, Google, Yahoo domains, Hotmail, MSN, eBay, Live Search, and Facebook.

Prescott also said YouTube’s traffic for the week of February 3rd exceeded the combined traffic for all the television network sites they track, like ABC, NBC, Nickelodeon Online, and others.


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